Using the winch involves danger of death or serious injury - you must follow all the instructions and treat the equipment with respect!

If you’re a member please click here to login now.

To use a winch at RSC you must complete this training by reading the information on this page carefully.

When you have understood it and agreed to use the equipment safely in accordance with it, please press the button at the bottom of the page to confirm completion.

Why this training?


Firstly, we want our members and guests to be safe. If used properly and with care the winch is a valuable aid to getting boats into and out of the water but things can go wrong and cause serious injury or worse.

For example, the winch line is not indestructable! The winch needs to be a powerful bit of kit and can break the line, if it breaks under tension it could "whip" and cause injury. The boat will run down the slipway and could hurt someone.

Looking after club property

If the winch is out of action it incoveniences members and, as a self-help club, another member will have to fix it - they would rather be doing something else!

Even though they don't charge the club for their expertise and labour, parts aren't free and avoidable breakages waste money we could spend on improving the club.

Not sure?

If you have any concerns about using the winch after reading the guide please leave the page without confirming completion and contact any member of the committee for further guidance and training.

Using the Winch


You need a key to operate the winch - it will not run without it!

The winch key is kept in a combination key safe mounted in the boatshed.

While you have a current qualification to operate the winch the code for the keysafe will be displayed on your login page.
  • You must not share the code with anyone else.
  • When you have finished winching the boat up or down you must:
    • Ensure that you have turned the winch off - please test that the controller is no longer active, and
    • Replace the key in the safe.
    • Close and lock the safe.
    To be clear:
    • Don't be polite and just hand the key to the next person.
    • Don't leave the key in the switch.
    • DO put the key back in the key safe and lock the safe so that an untrained person can't access it.

Authorised users only

The winch must only be operated by persons aged 16 or over and who have completed this training.

  • The controls must only be used by an authorised person. They must take charge of the operation so that they can stop the winch immediately if needed.

Using the winch safely

  • The rope must be under some tension at all times when the winch is running.
    • When raising or lowering a boat the weight of the boat should keep the line under tension but you must check constantly to see that the line is taut.
    • When the length of the rope is being adjusted (in either direction) without a load on it someone must pull the rope tight to keep it tensioned on the drum.
  • When a boat is being moved using the winch:
    • No one should be behind or pass behind the boat (there is danger that they will be run over by the boat if the winch or a component fails. An out of control boat can descend the slipway very quickly and may veer sharply.)
    • Everybody MUST stand clear of the rope, this means nobody should stand over or walk across the rope.
    • Only people involved in the winching operation should be in the immediate area. You must ask others to stand clear and ensure that they do (this particularly applies to children who may fail to recognise a developing dangerous situation.)
    • You must ensure that the rope is spread across the drum and not bunched at one end (particularly the end with cogs!). You can see the drum by standing away down the slope from the winch

STOP THE WINCH IMMEDIATELY if the operation is not proceeding safely.

  • Do not restart the winch until any problem has been resolved.
  • Ask for help if you need it.

Remember, it isn't safe to keep the winch running if:

  • There are people behind the boat or too close to the rope.
  • The winch rope stops when the motor is running.
  • The boat attached to the winch stops when the motor is running.
  • The winch starts making an unusual noise.
  • You see signs of the rope fraying or snapping.

Personal Safety

You use the winch at your own risk, so please take care when using it and recognise that your use can impact others!

  • If the rope breaks DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STOP OR SAVE the boat. It is insured and can be repaired or replaced - you can't be replaced and you might not be repaired successfully!

Following the guidelines above should help to keep you safe and avoid unneccessary damage to the winch and incovenience to your fellow members while it's out of action.